Five public participation books from 2014 you should take the time to read

at Bang The Table: “Every year dozens of books are published on the subject of community engagement, civic engagement, public engagement or public participation (depending on your fancy). None of us has time to read them all, so how to choose.
I’ve compiled a short and eclectic list here that span the breadth of issues that public participation practitioners and thier public sector managers are likely to be thinking about; legal, organisational culture, bringing joy back into citizen engagement, thoughtful living and thoughtful engagement, and DIY citizenship (and what that means for the public sector).
Blocking Public Participation: The use of strategic litigation to silence political expression
written by Byron M Sheldrick, published by Wilfred Laurier University Press
The blurb…

Strategic litigation against public participation (SLAPP) involves lawsuits brought by individuals, corporations, groups, or politicians to curtail political activism and expression. An increasingly large part of the political landscape in Canada, they are often launched against those protesting, boycotting, or participating in some form of political activism. A common feature of SLAPPs is that their intention is rarely to win the case or secure a remedy; rather, the suit is brought to create a chill on political expression….
Making Policy Public: Participatory Bureaucracy in American Democracy
written by Susan L. Moffit, published by Cambridge University Press
The blurb…
This book challenges the conventional wisdom that government bureaucrats inevitably seek secrecy and demonstrates how and when participatory bureaucracy manages the enduring tension between bureaucratic administration and democratic accountability….
Making Democracy Fun: How Game Design Can Empower Citizens and Transform Politics
written by Josh A. Lerner, published by MIT
The blurb…

Anyone who has ever been to a public hearing or community meeting would agree that participatory democracy can be boring. Hours of repetitive presentations, alternatingly alarmist or complacent, for or against, accompanied by constant heckling, often with no clear outcome or decision….

What Would Socrates Do?: Self-Examination, Civic Engagement, and the Politics of Philosophy

written by Joel Alden Schlosser, published by Cambridge University Press
The blurb…
Socrates continues to be an extremely influential force to this day; his work is featured prominently in the work of contemporary thinkers ranging from Hannah Arendt and Leo Strauss, to Michel Foucault and Jacques Rancière….
DIY Citizenship: Critical Making and Social Media
edited by Matt Ratto & Megan Boler, published by MIT
The blurb…
Today, DIY — do-it-yourself — describes more than self-taught carpentry. Social media enables DIY citizens to organize and protest in new ways (as in Egypt’s “Twitter revolution” of 2011) and to re-purpose corporate content (or create new user-generated content) in order to offer political counter-narratives….”